Scientists a Step Closer to Ebola Treatment : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Friday March 3 5:28 PM ET U.S. Scientists a Step Closer to Ebola Treatment WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientific researchers at a U.S. military research institute have come a step closer to creating a therapy for the deadly Ebola virus but are a long way from development of a treatment for humans, a study published in Friday's issue of the journal Science said.

``These results suggest that it is possible to elicit by vaccination, or produce for therapeutic use, antibodies protective against all Ebola viruses that are pathogenic for humans,'' the authors concluded.

Researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Maryland, found antibodies which are small proteins that could attach themselves to some proteins found on the surface of the Ebola virus.

Generally scientists believe that the proteins on the surface of the Ebola virus are critical to how the lethal virus makes its way into human cells and infects them.

The researchers found that in experiments on mice the antibodies were somehow able to block the ability of the virus to infect and reproduce itself in the mice.

Ebola is a deadly hemorrhagic fever that has appeared in some African countries.

It was uncertain whether the antibodies would work on all the different Ebola strains, but the research was considered a step toward development of eventual treatment for the virus.

``The role of antibodies in protection against the Ebola virus has been unclear and in this study we identified antibodies that bind to five different regions of the virus proteins that are protective in mice,'' said Mary Kate Hart, an immunologist who was part of the research team for the study. ''This indicates that antibodies are involved in protection,'' she said.

-- cin (, March 06, 2000

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